News and updates of my Border Collies and our canine performance events.

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January 25, 2009

Jump Training

I continue to work on jump training for Agility. Token is being retrained for jumping skills, and a year ago, when doing this exercise, he would have just launched & landed behind me. We've made alot of progress, but it's an ongoing project. I see that I've gotten sloppy, I should be feeding lower to keep his head down.

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January 6, 2009

The Agony & The Ecstasy of Flyball

My plan for the weekend of January 3-4, 2009, was to combine Flyball & Agility for the first time...a one-day Flyball tournament in Manchester, NH, on Saturday, and then the last day of a 3-day Agility Trial in Hampstead, NH, on Sunday. I drove up to NH on Friday, the weather was fine, no snowstorms to stress over. For Flyball, Dandy would be racing on Wild Fire, our Multi team, seeded 2nd in the Multi division. Token was racing on our Rapid Fire team, seeded 3rd in Regular 1. This was the first time we raced this particular lineup for Wild Fire, so we have some fine-tuning to do, but we ran well. Running Dandy as anchor is a totally new position for me, and I need to gradually tighten up my passes, with Dandy following Bailey, the big Golden Retriever, so we will be working on that in practice.
All was going well until Wild Fire's 4th race of the day....when I had a very unfortunate collision with Bailey, the Golden. Bailey had missed grabbing his tug toy, and while Dandy was racing back to me and I was looking at him and starting to step backwards, Bailey had come back to grab his tug & slammed into the side of my right knee with full Golden-power force! I lost my balance & fell, but the fall was not an issue...it was the impact on the side of my knee and then the twisting of the knee. I sat on the floor for quite a while, trying to be a big girl and not cry. They helped me up & to a chair. A fellow competitor, Shannon, stepped in to run Dandy for me as we had 2 more heats in that race. He ran for her for one heat, but he left on the last one, looking for me. I guess he's more of a mommy's boy than I realized!
After sitting for a few minutes, I was able to walk but it was slow & painful. I had 3 more races with Token, and 2 more with Dandy. Keeping the walking parts to a minimum, I continued to race my dogs, though I could not run up & back with them, like normal.
Even with all the drama....Dandy's team of Wild Fire WON the Multi division! This was a huge accomplishment for us. We broke 18.0 seconds twice, with our best time being 17.87! For a brand new multi team, with a less than perfect day, we are very proud to have won. Token's team placed 4th with a best time of 18.22, so we did a respectable job. (we will not ever win Regular 1, racing against 16 second teams, so we just strive for our personal bests).
Token's best time was 4.09, racing in the 3rd position, so I was thrilled with his performance. Dandy's best time was 4.15, and I know we can improve. Our next tourney will be in February, in Massachusettes.
Sunday was a big disappointment for me as I could not go to the Agility trial. Since I could barely walk, I surely could not do agility. My knee became very swollen. I stayed overnight in NH Saturday night as planned (which was a good plan since it was 8:00pm by the time I left the flyball tourney). But instead of going to the trial, I drove home. I then went to Urgent Care, got the knee xrayed, no fractures, no evidence of torn ligaments, so my Rx was rest & ice & ibuprofen, and see if it gets better. It's now Tuesday, and it's much better, the swelling has gone done, and I have more range of motion. So I'm confident that it's nothing serious & will heal quickly. Considering how it felt on Sunday, I'm suprised at how much better it is today...but also very relieved!!!!
It may still be a while before I can run in agility, but I have no trials lined up until maybe March.
Looks like it's going to be a long winter....